July 23, 2024
AI Generated Illustration

Under the Nordic Influence

Icelanders consider themselves a Nordic nation. The Nordic countries are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, as well as the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland. There is a lot of cooperation between these nations, and it can be said that strong friendships mark the cooperation. This relationship is very important to Icelanders.

Vikings from Norway were the first people to discover Iceland and settle there. Iceland later became a Danish colony up until the 20th century. The Danes controlled the Icelandic people for centuries, and prevented normal trade with other nations via monopoly. On June 17, 1944, Denmark granted Iceland its independence.

It can be argued that Iceland is still very much under the influence of Denmark in many aspects. In primary and secondary schools, Danish is a required language course. The Danish constitution is what our own constitution is built on. In addition to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which are also parts of the Kingdom of Denmark, there is a lot of travel, communication, and trade with Denmark. Many historic buildings display a strong Danish influence. Iceland’s national television regularly airs Danish TV shows. It has had a mixed response. It also reports regular news from Denmark. The list may go on, but for now, let’s pause.

Influences from other Nordic countries are less obvious in Icelandic society, but still evident. There is extensive travel, trade, and communication with all of the countries. Norway and Sweden are the two big ones. Norway has a larger influence here in the Westfjords than it does elsewhere in the nation because Norwegian businesses have established a monopoly in salmon farming. It is unclear if the development will be good or counterproductive. But many residents are wary of it. Salmon farming in the Westfjords has grown into a sizable industry and reversed decades of population decline.

Regularly, representatives from all the Nordic nations gather at meetings of the Nordic Council to discuss issues of shared interest. In Helsingfors, a meeting of the Nordic Council is currently taking place as of this writing. Additionally, the Nordic Council bestows cultural honors. A Nordic Council prize was given to an Icelandic movie yesterday. Critics from all over the world have given the movie “Lamb” highly positive reviews.

According to the Nordic Council’s 2030 vision, the Nordic region will become the world’s most interconnected and sustainable region in the years leading up to that year. These are admirable objectives. They show how strongly the Nordic countries believe that in order to solve the world’s most critical issues, cooperation is necessary. It is incredibly valuable. The first step toward big accomplishments is always a word.

When writing about all the Nordic countries, it is difficult to find a suitable illustration, so I asked artificial intelligence for good illustration, and the result can be seen in the featured image.